Diagnostic trouble codes

Diagnostic trouble codes or Onboard diagnostics refers to a vehicle’s self-diagnostic and reporting capability. On-board diagnostics (OBD) is an automotive term referring to a vehicle’s self-diagnostic and reporting capability.

OBD systems give the vehicle owner or repair technician access to the status of the various vehicle sub-systems. The amount of diagnostic information available via OBD has varied widely since its introduction in the early 1980s versions of onboard vehicle computers. Earlier versions of OBD would illuminate a malfunction indicator light or “idiot light” if a problem was detected but would not provide any information as to the nature of the problem.

OBD systems give the vehicle owner or repair technician access to the status of the various vehicle sub-systems. The amount of diagnostic information available via OBD has varied widely since its introduction in the early 1980s versions of onboard vehicle computers. Early versions of OBD would simply illuminate a malfunction indicator light or “idiot light” if a problem was detected but would not provide any information as to the nature of the problem. Modern OBD implementations use a standardized digital communications port to provide real-time data in addition to a standardized series of diagnostic trouble codes, or DTCs, which allow a person to rapidly identify and remedy malfunctions within the vehicle.

Modern OBD implementations use a standardized digital communications port to provide real-time data and a standardized series of diagnostic trouble codes, or DTCs, allowing a person to identify and remedy malfunctions within the vehicle rapidly.